Author (Your Name)

Valerie Friedman, Colby College

Date of Award

2007

Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)

Department

Colby College. Anthropology Dept.

Advisor(s)

Jeffrey D. Anderson

Abstract

This project is an anthropological study on how students at Colby College interpret photojournalistic images and news media. Using extensive literature, I strove to find a better understanding of how news agencies and the media control the flow and availability of information. Through fieldwork and numerous research methods, I wanted to understand how students formed relationships with images and news stories they encountered. This paper shows how the media and images people see in the news controls the minds and ideas of the public. Newspapers, magazines, the radio, internet sites, television broadcasts, and other forms of news media are primary sources of knowledge that people rely on to obtain a context for the world they live in. Their ideas and perceptions of most worldly knowledge derive from what the media publishes through their news sources. Objectivity poses a challenge for news publications, for a human mind is behind every article written and every photograph captured. Because of this subjectivity in the news, students are obtaining their supposed truthful knowledge from an opinionated source. Because the media is the primary source of information, students are unable to disprove one news story with evidence by another news source.

Keywords

anthropological study, Colby College, photojournalistic images, news media. interpretation